ATHLETICS: Marshall takes charge in fight for under 20 crown

Oxford Mail: Oxford City's Matthieu Marshall (1192) battles with Abingdon's Owen Stepney, his under 20 title rival Oxford City's Matthieu Marshall (1192) battles with Abingdon's Owen Stepney, his under 20 title rival

Matthieu Marshall opened up a 12-point lead in the race for the under 20 men’s title after a top-ten finish in the Oxford Mail Cross Country League at Cirencester Park.

The Oxford City athlete clocked 35mins 50secs for ninth place in round four, 16 places ahead of title rival Owen Stepney (Abingdon), with whom he battled in the early stages.

Sophie Fowler (Newbury) leads the under 20 ladies’ standings ahead of Becci Hodgson (White Horse Harriers) and Olivia Underhill (Alchester).

Abingdon’s Fiona Bunn sealed the under 15 girls’ title with a race to spare.

Bunn won the combined under 15/17 event in a time of 12.33, and with runners’ best three races from four to count for individual titles, the Abingdon star now cannot be overhauled.

Oxford City’s Alex Scrivener matched Bunn’s feat after her third successive under 11 girls’ victory.

Scrivener powered home in 4.46, ten seconds ahead of Abingdon’s Beth Darwent.

Jessica O’Connor (Oxford City) finished first in the under 13 girls’ race, clocking 9.29 for a ten-second victory.

Bicester’s Sophie Wheeler leads the standings, despite not racing at Cirencester.

Oxford’s Johnnie Sunderland pipped Kie Francis (Abingdon) in the under 11 boys’ race, but the latter is joint top in the standings.

Radley’s Johnny James took the boys and girls’ under 9 race ahead of Abingdon’s Luke Bur-gess.

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